For the last three months, I’ve been yearning to blog or write an op-ed on AB 376, the state bill that would ban the sale of shark fins in California. I haven’t been more excited about a marine conservation bill in nearly a decade. But to be honest, having an environmental biologist like me write about shark conservation wouldn’t add much momentum to get the bill passed.
After all, nearly every major environmental and animal rights group in the nation strongly supports the bill. Many of these groups persuaded globally known actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and January Jones to advocate for the bill via Twitter and op-eds. Even the Monterey Bay Aquarium, generally neutral on environmental bills, decided to sponsor the bill and hire well-respected lobbyists to fight for shark conservation.
The one person I know that could really make a difference in the fight to enact the shark fin ban is my brother, Jonathan. After all, there is no food writer more highly respected nationally than Jonathan. He’s the only food writer to earn a Pulitzer and he’s received seven James Beard Awards, the food industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.
Also, Jonathan’s writing delves into both the worlds of food and modern culture. His writing on Chinese food is particularly distinct and well respected, as nearly every significant Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley has a copy of one of his reviews plastered on a window or framed in the lobby.
Unlike my brother, I’ve never consumed shark fin soup. In fact, I remember threatening his physical harm at a Monterey Park Cantonese seafood palace that actually had a cart featuring the item for $30 a bowl back in the1990s. Jonathan eagerly called the cart driver to our table just to get a rise out of me. He thought it was hilarious. I wasn’t laughing.